From left: UDECOTT Chairman Noel Garcia, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and Diego Martin Regional Corporation Chairman Sigler Jack, officially open the Diego Martin North Community Centre, Church Street on Thursday. – PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE
CHAIRMAN of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Sigler Jack, wants the Ministry of Sport and Community Development and the Ministry of Tourism to invest in Diego Martin as a hub for tourism.
Jack was speaking at a meeting on the national policy on sustainable community development at the Bagatelle Community Centre, Diego Martin, on Wednesday evening.
The Sport and Community Development ministry’s website describes the policy as a “comprehensive treatment of the issues and strategies relevant to transforming communities in TT and, in particular, treating with key scourges that plague the nation which significantly emanate from marginal communities.”
Jack said Diego Martin was a “good place to start a project of this nature.” His reason for saying this, he said, was his comparison between “where Diego Martin was and where Diego Martin is now…”
When he visited the community 52 years ago, he said it was like a ghost town.”You couldn’t get a taxi or any form of transportation to come into Diego Martin after 6 pm.”
He recalled going to parties in Diego Martin and having to walk back to Port of Spain.He believes the transformation of Diego Martin began with the development of the Diamond Vale community.
He said the policy speaks to economics, culture, “who we are and where we came from.”We must move forward and sustain ourselves in every which way…”…I would like to see some of these places retain their identities from the roots up to where they are right now.”
He said from Diego Martin to Carenage, “We have so much to offer here.”What I would like to see is something set up not only by this ministry but by the Ministry of Tourism.”
He said this began years ago but “somehow got stalled along the way.”Let us invest in Diego Martin as a tourism place…There are so many significant things that could bring tourism into Diego Martin and I would really like to see that happen.”